Nancy Ward's cat salon, Sophisticats, officially opened Wednesday at 108 W. Main St., Kingsport. (Ned Jilton II photo)
KINGSPORT — Nancy Ward and the Downtown Kingsport Association cut the ribbon Wednesday on Sophisticats, which bills itself as the region’s only salon offering grooming, daycare, retail and lodging exclusively for cats.
Ward says she’s the area’s only nationally certified cat groomer by the Professional Cat Groomers Association of America.
“I’ve been grooming for almost 35 years now,” said Ward, who also offers nutritional consultations.
She noted that in the past four or five years, she’s been working with different folks who manufacture shampoo specifically for cats.
“That got me thinking if I’m that particular about the product I’m going to use, what about where I’m doing it?” Ward said of how she got the idea for the business. “I wanted a place to take my cats to groom with no dogs, which would be very quiet and calm. Cats deserve an environment designed just for cats. They need their own special place. We groom long-haired and short-haired cats.”
People are under the misconception that cats don’t need a bath because they clean themselves, Ward added.
“Actually they just lick themselves all over,” she explained. “That’s how they get hairballs and people don’t realize that people who are allergic, it’s not the hair, it’s the allergens on the cat saliva. The more the cat licks itself, the worse it makes a person’s allergies. By keeping the cat clean, you eliminate the hairball issues and allergies.”
Sophisticats, located at 108 W. Main St., is open by appointment only in the initial startup phase. For more information call (423) 579-5397.